In 'Tweet Cute' By Emma Lord, Two Teens Start A Viral Twitter War — And Unexpectedly Fall In Love

Wednesday Books

You've Got Mail gets a cheesy (in a good way) successor in the rom-com everyone will be talking about next spring, Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, a story filled with all the tropes your heart can handle, including my personal favorite, an enemies-to-lovers romance. Tweet Cute doesn't hit bookstores until Jan. 21, 2020, but Bustle has an exclusive excerpt and first look at the cover below!

Emma Lord — who, full disclosure, is a Lifestyle Editor at Bustle, sits next to me at the office, and generously provides me with a lot of snacks — has already racked up praise from some of the biggest names in the game. Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest co-authors Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka called Tweet Cute "a witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age."

Here's what you can expect: Pepper is captain of the swim team, an all-around perfectionist, and a chronic overachiever. Even though her family is falling apart, their business — the fast-food chain Big League Burger — is booming, and Pepper is singlehandedly (and secretly) managing their massive Twitter account.

Author Emma Lord, Lock & Company, courtesy of Wednesday Books

Jack is the opposite: Class clown, thorn in Pepper's side, and perpetually overshadowed by his popular twin. He has mixed feelings about his family's business — a deli where he spends many afternoons and weekends working — but when Big League Burger steals his grandmother's iconic grilled cheese sandwich recipe, he decides that he must take them down, one tweet at a time.

Before long, the two are battling it out in a viral Twitter war.

But what they don't know is that while they're duking it out in public, they're also falling in love in private — in an anonymous chat app that Jack built. As their public feud escalates, their private feelings deepen, and soon enough Pepper and Jack (get it?) will have to contend with a romance neither of them planned on.

Can't wait to read this swoony book about the two best things in life, love and cheese? You don't have to wait a second longer — Bustle has an exclusive excerpt below:

EXCERPT: Tweet Cute

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have ... overreacted.”

Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”

“Yeah. But it’s also — well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”

Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”

“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”

“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”

The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her.

The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is — to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that — then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.

The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.

“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.

“So . . .”

“So.”

Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.

“So, I guess — if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”

“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”

“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”

“I didn’t—”

“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”

“So you’re saying — you don’t not want me to keep this up?”

“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”

Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.

“You’re sure?”

“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one.

I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.

“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel — freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high — and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”

“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”

Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.

“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”

Pepper smiles, then — actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.

I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October.

Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.

“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.

I raise my eyebrows at her.

“We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”

“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”

Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.

“I mean — no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”

Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—

“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.

But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up — like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.

I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up — like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.

“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”

She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.

I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord is available for pre-order now.